elevating child care

RIE Parenting Is Not About Rules

Introduced to the teachings of infant specialist Magda Gerber as an overwhelmed new mom, I found an alternative way of parenting that gave me the clarity and inspiration I desperately needed (a story I’ve shared in detail in other posts). I eagerly devoured every recommendation of Magda’s RIE approach, which included many aspects I’d been doing “wrong” (like carrying my infant in an upright position). It...

Confessions of a Recovering Helicopter Parent (Guest Post by Elisabeth Corey)

When I first came across the writings of Janet Lansbury, my children were already five years old.  Initially, I had two thoughts.  I knew her advice made perfect sense.  I also knew I had done everything wrong.  I hadn’t trusted them to find their own way.  I had not provided them the best environment for emotional expression.  Instead I had been a full-blown helicopter parent. But to be fair, when I became...

What Children Know (And Might Hurt Them)

“Children both know more and learn more than we ever would have thought,” notes psychologist and infant brain researcher Alison Gopnik in her Ted Talk entitled “What Do Babies Think?” She goes on to point out that hundreds and hundreds of studies (along with her own) over the past 20 years support her statement. Pediatrician Emmi Pikler and her protégé Magda Gerber saw proof of infant awareness more than...

No Bad Parents (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

As a fan of Janet’s work and her website, this is a reader comment I come across occasionally: “Oh, great! Another article that makes me feel like a bad parent.” Well, not this article. Nope. This article wants to assure you that nothing Janet writes about respectful parenting is designed to intimidate or humiliate, but only to inform, educate, and to offer readers a shot at a parenting experience beyond their...

When Parents Invade Childhood (A Lesson in Distrust)

Trust is essential to raising capable, happy, self-confident children. Belief in our children’s competence is vital to their sense of self-worth and can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And yet, trusting kids to handle even the most benign, age-appropriate situations is sometimes difficult for parents.  What are we so afraid of? This is the question that came up for me when Karen shared this discouraging...

7 Benefits of RIE Parenting

“I have relaxed so much as a mother and as a wife. I can enjoy my kids without having to live up to anyone else’s standards. I have learned how to actively listen. To do less. And observe more. I’m happy. I’m proud of being a mother. I love learning and can admit when I have more things to learn.” – Tracy  The beauty of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach (commonly known as RIE) is that the...

How Respect Makes Parenting Easier

Every so often I receive a critical comment along the lines of this one: “…reading things such as ‘I asked my baby if she wanted me to lift her up and with the slightest nod of yes, I did’ (not exact quote) — when talking about a month-old baby — makes me want to laugh. It is true that babies, infants and toddlers should be treated with respect, and I adhere to the notion of the calm...

The Evolution of a Diaper Change

Thank goodness for those occasional, special moments of deep connection and elation that punctuate our daily lives with children, because without these “bonuses,” parenting can be tedious, monotonous, and just plain hard. We may not remember these experiences as the years pass, but our hearts will. They were our much-needed proof that we were bonding. It was working. Our efforts were actually paying off despite...

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